Francis Haywood Parker, of Muncie, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 80.
Francis moved to Muncie in 1976 as one of the 4 original faculty members of the Department of Urban Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, where he taught until his retirement in 2013. His specialty was transportation planning, which fit well with his lifelong love of trains and ships.
From childhood, Francis was a fan of steam engines and model railroading. As soon as he moved to Muncie, he became a volunteer on the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connorsville, IN. In addition to serving as engineer and conductor, he was also the railroad’s historian, editor of their monthly newsletter and leader of the yearly training class for new members. He also managed to fit in sailing excursions on a number of tall ships over the years, and built model railroad layouts all over his home.
Francis is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Carol (Greenberg) Parker of central North Carolina, his sister Josie (Parker) Little of Cape Cod, and his son Richard Haywood Parker and grandson James Haywood Parker of the San Francisco bay area, as well as several cousins living near Asheville, NC and others across the US.
Visitation will be on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 2-4 PM at the Parson Mortuary, 801 W. Adams St, Muncie, Indiana 47305, followed by a brief memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Whitewater Valley Railroad or the scholarship fund at the Ball State University Department of Urban Planning.